Kirkland’s History

A Note from our Founder

What defines Kirkland’s and makes it different from other retailers?  From the beginning it has been GREAT STYLE and GREAT PRICES.  The third difference is what also separates Kirkland’s from others:  it is a dedication to provide a continuous flow of new home décor and gifts designed to surprise, to delight, to make us want to revisit Kirkland’s soon for that good feeling of finding new and fresh ideas for decorating our homes or finding intriguing gifts at reasonable prices.  It is design and style that fulfills our creative side.

Our history

Kirkland’s has its roots in Tennessee.  We learned that we could be successful with the design and style equation and as we added stores, we found that it was accepted enthusiastically in many cities in new locations.  Our customers loved the merchandise and style and prices.  As the business grew, we surrounded ourselves with good people who worked hard and we grew one step at a time, one store at a time.  Kirkland’s people are my family and my life.  Many of the people responsible for building the company are still involved today.

Kirkland’s today

The Kirkland’s store you shop today has the same focus as the Kirkland’s you began shopping over 40 years ago: great style and great value together with an ability to surprise and delight in home décor and gifts.  We believe we have the opportunity to grow Kirkland’s across America even in the tough economic times as we focus on pleasing our customer with fresh product and ideas.  We are grateful for your support and continuing interest in our Kirkland’s concept of great design and great price.

Carl Kirkland today

I have retired from day-to-day business operations of Kirkland’s with total confidence that the company is in the hands of excellent management committed to the principles we have always held of dedication to you, our customer and delivering your expectations.  I still go to the office a couple of days a week and stay in touch with many of the people who built Kirkland’s through the years along with many new management members who have come onboard to strengthen our operation, buying, distribution, real estate, accounting, computer, and the many parts that make a retail company work.  We have a talented group of merchandise buyers who are very capable of continuing our history of good design and creative buying that has been our hallmark for many years.  I remain very interested in what we sell and try to stay in touch with our buyers and with the merchandise.  We have experienced and talented management at every level which gives me confidence that our future is bright.

I spend more time with my wife Alice and see a lot of my children, Miles, Brooks and Abby and 5 grandchildren.  We go to Hilton Head where I enjoy golf and tennis and to Beaver Creek Colorado where we have spent many fun years snow skiing in the mountains.  I have spent some time recently establishing a Cancer Center in Jackson Tennessee at the local hospital.  I will continue to work on this project and appreciate Kirkland’s support of the project and hope you will continue to help this worthwhile cause.  I am a cancer survivor and cancer has touched so many lives inside Kirkland’s and in West Tennessee and we pray that the Cancer Center will one day provide healthcare, if needed to our company family and their loved ones.  Others who were instrumental along the way are still involved in building Kirkland’s, and some are still involved in the gift industry and provide product to Kirkland’s.

I feel honored to have been a part of building such an incredible organization, surrounded by remarkable people.  Thank you for letting me tell my story.



Visit the Alice and Carl Kirkland Cancer Center website: